News

This section includes scientific and technological news from the IAC and its Observatories, as well as press releases on scientific and technological results, astronomical events, educational projects, outreach activities and institutional events.

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  • Artistic representation of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon (not to scale) with the space-time curvature of Einstein's General Relativity over the spectrum of sunlight reflected from the Moon (in colors from blue to red). The spectrum is taken with the HARPS instrument and calibrated with the LFC. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).
    New measurements of the solar spectrum verify Einstein’s theory of General Relativity

    An international team of researchers led by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has measured, with unprecedented accuracy, the gravitational redshift of the Sun, a change in frequency of the lines in the solar spectrum which is produced when the light escapes from the gravitational field of the Sun on its way to Earth. This work, which verifies one of the predictions of Einstein’s General Relativity, is to be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

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  • GTC (panel a) and Spitzer (panel b) transit observation of the planet candidate WD 1856b.  The lack of difference in the transit depth in the optical and infrared helps to put constraints in the mass of the transiting object.
    A giant planet candidate transiting a white dwarf

    Astronomers have discovered thousands of planets outside the Solar System, most of which orbit stars that will eventually evolve into red giants and then into white dwarfs. During the red giant phase, any close-orbiting planets will be engulfed by the star, but more distant planets can survive this phase and remain in orbit around the white dwarf. Some white dwarfs show evidence for rocky material floating in their atmospheres, in warm debris disks or orbiting very closely, which has been interpreted as the debris of rocky planets that were scattered inwards and tidally disrupted. Recently

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  • Milky way on the Gran Telescopio Canarias
    In defence of Optical Astronomy

    “Astronomical observations have to be protected against light pollution. Only in this way will we be able to see the Universe at at the very beginning”. This was the start of the talk by Casiana Muñoz-Tuñón, Deputy Director of the IAC and one of the organizers of the workshop “Dark and quiet skies for science and society” which is being celebrated on line from October 5th to 9th. Muñoz-Tuñón reminded us that the further back in time we want to reach, the further away we need to look. “For that reason the light which reaches us is very faint. We need dark skies to be able to detect and study

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  • Dark & Quiet Skies
    Dark and quiet skies for science and society

    Even though the conference planned by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) for celebration in La Palma has been postponed until mid-April 2021, the meeting is being held on-line from 5th to 9th October. In this workshop we will discuss a reference document for governments, city councils and companies so that they have a legal and technical basis to avoid the possible negative impact of the new technologies on the observation of the night sky and on biodiversity. Link to the programme: http://research.iac.es/congreso/quietdarksky2020/pages/program.php For thousands of years the

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  • Artist impression of WASP-189 and its planet. Credit: ESA.
    The CHEOPS mission measures the properties of one of the hottest and most extreme extrasolar planets

    CHEOPS, the new exoplanet mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), in which the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) is participating, has observed a nearby planetary system which contains one of the hottest and most extreme extrasolar planets known until now: WASP-189 b. The result, the first from this mission, is being published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

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  • Left and centre: Image of the region of the sky containing BOSS-EUVLG1, which stands out due to its blue colour. Credit: DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys. Right: Artist`s drawing of the burst of star formation in BOSS-EUVLG1, which contains a large number of young massive stars, and hardly any dust. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC).
    Astronomers find the first galaxy whose ultraviolet luminosity is comparable to that of a quasar

    An international scientific team, led by researchers at the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB, CSIC-INTA) and with participation by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), have found the galaxy BOSS-EUVLG1. This is the galaxy with star formation but almost no dust, the most luminous of its type known up to now. It was found using observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, (Garafía, La Palma, Canary Islands), and with the ATACAMA Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), in Chile. The discovery was recently published in the

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